Annual Report 2010-2011 Northern Territory Electoral Commission
Tabled paper 1602
Tabled Papers for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled By Speaker
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23 4.3 Information activities to support the 2012 Local Government and Legislative Assembly elections During the latter half of the reporting period discussions took place between the NTEC and the AEC regarding appropriate public awareness and enrolment activities to be undertaken in the lead up to the Local Government and Legislative Assembly general elections to be held in March and August 2012 respectively. In mid 2011, the NTEC commenced a review of its strategic communication and enrolment plan for the 2012 elections, timed to coincide with the election stages. The main features of the plan already identified are: Mounting an enrolment campaign under the NTEC banner based on TV and newspaper advertising Using the NTEC and AEC website as a major tool to provide information and online enrolment Mailing personally addressed letters to all Territorians with enrolment and electoral boundary information that include forms to allow addressees to update their details Attending at community centres and specific events to stimulate enrolment Establishing a dedicated call centre for general enquiries relevant to enrolment activities and Providing information for the training of field officers and for distribution to council staff in advance of the general elections. 4.4 Research and electoral developments The NTEC prepared a considered response to a discussion paper by the DHLGRS entitled What is the best voting system for local government in the NT, published on the NTEC website. Informal ballot papers were examined following all by-elections to make an assessment on informality. Remote council by-elections reveal ongoing apparent non-intentional informality reflective of lower literacy and numeracy rates in remote areas. Research also shows that the unintentional informality rate is also noticeably higher when only two candidates contest a poll, due mainly from electors using methods other than numbers to indicate their preferences. A total of 74% of the Araluen informal ballot papers appeared to be intentionally informal (refer Appendix A), approximately the same as in the Alice Springs and Palmerston municipal by-elections (refer Appendix B). The document providing a compilation of all NT historical election results was formatted. Following a recommendation from the 2008 Augmented Redistribution Committee, the NTEC allocated resources to research potential divisional names for use at future redistributions. The research was provided to the 2011 Redistribution Committee. As reported elsewhere, the NTEC noted developments and ascertained the impact of recent amendments on legislative provisions in other jurisdictions. In the light of the NTECs growing involvement in local government electoral matters, the agency initiated the preparation by STEC of a matrix showing the mandated involvement of electoral jurisdictions in local government electoral governance provisions and, with specific relevance to councils structures and composition, the criteria for reviews of local government representation. The NTEC also participated in discussions on key performance indicators for all electoral jurisdictions to facilitate the adoption of common measures.